What Hotel, Resort, and Lodge Workers Need to Know about COVID-19

More Info for Hotels, Resorts, and Lodges

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about it. Here’s what we currently know:

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets:
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more).
    • Produced when a person who is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • You can get the virus from people who don’t seem sick or don’t have any symptoms.
  • You might be able to get COVID-19 by shaking someone’s hand or touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes.

As a hotel, resort, and lodge worker, you might come into contact with the virus at your job when:

  • In close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with guests or coworkers
  • Touching your face, mouth, nose or eyes after:
    • Shaking someone’s hand.
    • Touching surfaces in public areas such as the front desk/check-in counter and restrooms.
    • Touching or handling items such as cash, pens at the front desk, room keys, key cards, or merchandise.
    • Touching high-touch lobby and common area surfaces such as tables, elevator buttons, water fountains, ATMs/card payment stations, and ice/vending machines.
  • Cleaning guestrooms, including contact with dirty linens, trash, and frequently touched guestroom surfaces, such as tables, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, remote controls, phones, toilets, toilet flush handles, sink faucets, door handles, pens, and irons.

Stay home if you are having symptoms of COVID-19.

Stay at least 6 feet away from customers and coworkers, when possible.

  • Use transparent shields or other barriers that have been put in place by your employer to physically separate yourself from guests where distancing is not an option (e.g., the reception desk).
  • Promote technological solutions that will reduce person-to-person interaction such as online reservation and check-in, mobile room key, mobile ordering, mobile access to menus, contactless delivery for room service, text on arrival for dining room seating, and contactless payment options.
  • Instruct guests to return room keys/key cards in a key card bin upon departure for later disinfection.

Wear a cloth mask in public and at work, even when social distancing. Cloth masks may prevent people who don’t know they have the virus from spreading it to others. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth masks are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing. A universal face covering policy can be effective in preventing the transmission of the virus in close-contact interactions.

  • Be careful when putting on, wearing, and taking off cloth masks:
    • Do not touch your cloth mask while wearing it.
    • Do not touch your face, mouth, nose, or eyes while taking off the cloth mask.
    • Wash your hands before putting on and after taking off the cloth mask.
    • Wash the mask after each use.
  • Ensure cloth masks do not create a new risk (for example, interferes with driving or vision, or contributes to heat-related illness) that exceeds their COVID-19 related benefits of slowing the spread of the virus.
  • If you are concerned about the use of cloth masks at your workplace, discuss them with your employer.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

  • Clean and disinfect the following areas on a routine basis or at least daily:
    • Break rooms, public areas, fitness centers and conference rooms
      • Encourage fitness center patrons to clean equipment (e.g., free weights, exercise equipment, cardio machines) before and after use.
    • Guestrooms occupied by the same customer over multiple days should not be cleaned daily, unless requested.
  • Conduct more frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces such as the front desk/check-in counter, public areas, restrooms, tables, elevator buttons, water fountains, ATMs/card payment stations, ice/vending machines, pens, room keys, and key cards.
    • Reception desk staff should use disposable disinfectant wipes to disinfect surfaces in between guest interactions.
  • Follow the directions on cleaning and disinfecting products’ labels.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds afterwards. Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

In addition to the cleaning guidance above, employees cleaning guestrooms should:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before entering and after exiting a guestroom. Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Throw away all single-use items provided by the hotel or left by the guest.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as tables, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, remote controls, phones, toilets, toilet flush handles, sink faucets, door handles, pens, and irons.
  • Wash all hotel linens according to the manufacturer’s label and use the warmest appropriate water setting. Allow items to dry completely.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry or trash.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Wash hands immediately after handling dirty laundry or trash.
  • If a guest is ill and isolating in their hotel room, discontinue all but essential housekeeping services to the room.
  • Additional precautions for cleaning a room after a guest who has been ill has checked out of the hotel:
  • Close off the room.
  • Wait 24 hours before you enter the room. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • If possible, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect the room, as stated above.
  • Use a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.
  • After the room has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for guest use.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You don’t need to wear gloves if you wash your hands regularly (unless they are already required for your job).

  • Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Wash your hands at these key times:
    • Before, during, and after preparing food.
    • Before eating food.
    • After using the toilet.
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth masks.
    • Before and after work and work breaks.
    • Before and after cleaning guestrooms.

Do not touch your face, mouth, nose, or eyes.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

  • Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Mental health and emotional well-being are important parts of worker safety and health. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges in the ways many people work and connect with others, which may raise feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. It is important to pay attention to these in yourself and others and be aware of resources available to manage them.

Information and resources about mental health, knowing signs of stress, taking steps to manage stress, and knowing where to go if you need help are available here.

Your employer should develop a COVID-19 response plan and share it with you. We created a fact sheet to help your employer.

Last Updated Nov. 12, 2020